By Bobby Knight, College Tennis Today
This weekend will be the close of the regular season in several conferences while the deepest women’s conference will stage its conference tournament in Music City. It’ll be a Big Slam Saturday in Berkeley with both the California men and women hosting rival Stanford while the two powerhouses in Los Angeles will meet on Friday afternoon with a conference title at stake.
The Pac-12 regular season title and the top seed in the inaugural conference tournament will be at stake on Saturday afternoon in Berkeley when No. 8 Stanford comes across the bay to face No. 16 California. Both teams have been playing extremely well over the last few months with Stanford having won 13 of its last 14 matches while California has won 11 of its last 12. Last season California brought a 19-0 record into the Big Slam but Stanford stunned them 4-3 and then proceeded to win both the conference title and national title. Stanford leads the all-time series 71-14 however California has won the last three meetings in Berkeley.
The big showdown of the weekend in the ACC will take place on Sunday when No. 15 Duke hosts No. 6 Georgia Tech. Duke had its 13-match winning streak get snapped on Wednesday by No. 3 North Carolina while Georgia Tech is a perfect 12-0 in conference play after defeating No. 33 Notre Dame and Boston College. Duke leads the all-time series 34-8 however Georgia Tech has won the last five meetings including 4-3 last season.
The Southeastern Conference, which has all 14 members ranked inside the top 50, will stage its conference tournament this week in Nashville. Second-ranked Vanderbilt will be the top seed after winning the regular season title last weekend with a win over No. 1 Florida while fourth-ranked Georgia will be the No. 2 seed. Despite being the top ranked team in the country Florida will be the No. 3 seed while No. 11 South Carolina will be the fourth seed. The top four seeds get byes into the quarterfinals, which will be held on Friday, with the semifinals on Saturday, and the final on Sunday. Florida won both the regular season and conference tournament titles last season.
The top seed in the Pac-12 Tournament will be decided on Friday afternoon when No. 8 UCLA hosts crosstown rival No. 6 USC. UCLA has won its last nine while USC has won five of its last six with both teams coming off wins over Utah and Arizona. This will be the third meeting of the season between these two with UCLA winning at the National Team Indoors 4-3 while USC won at home three weeks later 4-1. UCLA is a perfect 13-0 at home this season while USC will be playing just its fourth true road match of the season. UCLA leads the all-time series 108-94 with the first match played all the way back in 1929.
Ninth-ranked TCU won a share of the Big 12 regular season title with a win over No. 4 Baylor on Wednesday and on Saturday the Horned Frogs will have a chance to win it outright against No. 7 Texas. TCU has won 11 straight with its last loss coming in early March against No. 1 Wake Forest. Texas has dropped two of its last three but it won the last time out against No. 45 Texas Tech. Texas leads the all-time series 28-19 however TCU has won the last two after Texas had won the previous eight. The last time TCU won three in a row against Texas was during the 1991-1992 seasons.
California, ranked No. 11, will host bay area rival No. 15 Stanford on Saturday afternoon in a match that will be nationally televised by the Pac-12 Network. California has won seven of its last eight and is coming off road wins over No. 41 Washington and No. 22 Oregon. Stanford has won six of its last eight but those two losses came in its last three matches. This will be the second meeting of the year between these two with Stanford winning the first 4-3 in a match that was decided in a third set tiebreak at No. 3 singles. Stanford has won 92 of the last 114 matches in the series however the teams have split the last eight matches.
Make sure you follow each of these matches at the provided live scoring links and follow me on Twitter for updates throughout the weekend.
If you want to read my thoughts and predictions on this weekends action you can head over to my site College Tennis Today.
Women’s Live Scoring/Updates
SEC Tournament – Nashville, TN – Daily Through Sunday Final
Live Scoring: http://www.vucommodores.com/livestats/w-tennis/xlive.htm
No. 8 Stanford at No. 16 California – Saturday – 12 p.m. PT
Scoring Updates: https://twitter.com/CalWomensTennis
Pac-12 Broadcast: http://pac-12.com/womens-tennis/event/2017/04/22/stanford-california
No. 6 Georgia Tech at No. 15 Duke – Sunday – 12 p.m. ET
Live Scoring: http://www.goduke.com/ViewArticle.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=4200&ATCLID=211566504
Men’s Live Scoring/Updates
No. 6 USC at No. 8 UCLA – Friday – 3 p.m. PT
Live Scoring: http://www.statbroadcast.com/events/statbroadcast.php?t=1&gid=ucla
No. 7 Texas at No. 9 TCU – Saturday 1 p.m. CT
Live Scoring: http://www.statbroadcast.com/events/statmonitr.php?gid=tcu
No. 15 Stanford at No. 11 California – Saturday – 3:30 p.m. PT
Scoring Updates: https://twitter.com/CalMensTennis
Pac-12 Broadcast: http://pac-12.com/mens-tennis/event/2017/04/22/stanford-california